15 Steps to Improve Your Organic Reach on Facebook | Advanced Digital Marketing Blog, Ireland

15 Steps to Improve Your Organic Reach on Facebook

Aisling Brennan, 25-Apr-2016

Facebook has been a wonderful tool for small business owners to actively promote their business online and engage with potential and existing customers. However if you've been actively promoting your business on Facebook, you'll have noticed a sharp decline in your Facebook organic reach. That is, your posts are no longer reaching the same volume of users as before, no matter how often you post.

Why is there a decline?
With changes to Facebook's News Feed algorithm, you're now facing increased competition to get your content in front of your fans. And let's face it Facebook does not want you to reach all your audience free of charge. They want you to pay for Facebook ads in order to boost your posts reach.

As you can see from the latest revenue report – Facebook revenues, the majority of which comes from advertising, have jumped from $764m in 2009 to $17.08bn six years later. Not bad growth, eh?

Facebook's Advertising Revenue Worldwide 2009-2015

Source: Statista

We know that Facebook’s algorithm is very similar to Google’s search algorithm: no one knows exactly how it works and what metrics the algorithm takes into account. BTW this is not surprising, given that a significant proportion of Google’s engineers jumped ship over to Facebook.

According to Facebook’s VP Advertising Technology, Brian Boland, "competition in News Feed is increasing, and is becoming harder for any story to gain exposure in News Feed. News Feed is designed to show the content that's most relevant... We want to offer people a better, more engaging experience on Facebook."

So we know that relevancy is now critical if your content is to cut through all the clutter. And the algorithm gives priority ranking not only to relevant content, but to high quality, relevant content.

But what is Facebook's definition of high quality content? According to Varun Karcholia, the top tips are:
• Make your posts timely and relevant
• Build credibility and trust with your audience
• Ask yourself, "Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?"
• Think about, "Would my audience want to see this in their News Feeds?"

So, How Do I Improve My Facebook Business Page's Organic Reach?

  1. Post quality content, but less often. Examine Facebook Insights if you're unsure what your audience finds "high quality". What posts perform best for your business? Is there a common theme? If so, do more of that.
  2. Don't focus on selling on Facebook. Remember it's social media, not social selling. Post content that's of value to your target market. Leave the sales pitch for another day.
  3. Post your best content on Facebook. Content that has been more successful in other social media will most likely work on Facebook. Content that has the most retweets, clicks and traffic will do well on Facebook.
  4. Older posts fade over time and have a lesser chance of showing up in your audience's feeds. So keep your page updated with fresh, quality content. Try to post more "evergreen" content (i.e. content that doesn't date) so that it remains fresh and relevant to users for a longer period of time.
  5. Choose content types that best resonates with your audience. Photos and videos are more engaging, interactive and carry more weight. We know that Facebook likes images and video so include both in your posts, if possible. Posts with both have a better chance of reaching your target audience, without spending any money on ads. Again examine Facebook Insights to see what content types have worked best in the past. Test new formats (questions, polls, events, offers, short ve long text updates) but introduce slowly and track performance closely.
  6. Post at different times, not just during business hours. Your customers are on Facebook all the time, so identify the peak hours (via Facebook Insights) when the majority of your fans are online to see if you can get better traction.
  7. Personalise your brand and share original, behind-the-scenes photos and bios of your team.
  8. Engage your community with questions. Don't try to sell or promote anything. Your only goals should be listening to the audience.
  9. Don't forget to respond. Reply to fans queries and questions promptly.
  10. Spotlight "Fan of the Week" to create goodwill.
  11. Ensure each post has a clear call-to-action (CTA) back to your website.
  12. Host events – i.e. "Ask the Expert"/"Tuesday Talk" where you reply to questions asked on Facebook from 10:00-11:00.
  13. Test Facebook's organic audience targeting. Choose from gender, relationship status, education, interests, age, location, language to highlight the right audience for your brand. By targeting niche markets is great way to increase your post engagement rates.
  14. Ask employees to share important posts.
  15. Lastly, consider testing Facebook’s paid reach. Small business owners needs to remember that Facebook is shifting from a free promotional tool to a paid medium. Consider testing Facebook Ads to see if you can get sufficient return on investment.

There is no magic formula to instantly increase your organic reach on Facebook. However, the above tips should help you move in the right direction, as long as you're consistent and see improved interaction and engagement rates from your audience. Keep at it. Remember your posts must be relevant *and* of high quality and you’ll gradually increase your organic reach.

As always get in touch if you've any questions, or need help with any of the above. Good luck!

Related Reading:
5 Social Media Tips for New Business
10 Steps to Avoid Failure on Facebook
Which Social Network is Right for your Small Business?
40 Tips to Get Your Small Business Started on LinkedIn
10 Tips to Improve your Facebook Business Page
Is Twitter Worthwhile for your Small Business?

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